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Derby County: Government urges “pragmatism from all parties”

The Government has urged for “pragmatism from all parties” in the on-going battle to save Derby County and, once again, acknowledged the need for an independent regulator to prevent such collapses happening in future.

The statement by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, followed a written question by Derby County supporter Lord Pendry.

Lord Pendry asked what discussions had taken place about the future of Derby County and whether “assessments” had been made by the Government “of allegations of financial mismanagement” at the club. He also noted the impact of the club’s troubles on players, coaches and fans.

Lord Pendry sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters which aims “to represent the interests of match-going football fans and to support the aims and objectives of the Football Supporters’ Association”. The FSA is secretariat to the group.

Government response

“The Government continues to engage closely with the EFL about Derby County Football Club. It is for the EFL, the administrator, and the club to resolve issues to ensure the survival of Derby County FC, but the Government has urged pragmatism from all parties to find a solution for the benefit of fans, staff, and the community that the club serves.

“The EFL must preserve the integrity of the league on behalf of all member clubs, but all parties want to see one of the founding members of the Football League continue this season and beyond under appropriate ownership.

“The Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, commissioned by the Government, made proposals directly addressing how to prevent clubs ending up in such difficult financial situations. We have endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review: that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game.

“The Government is now working swiftly to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.”

What does the FSA think?

As our chair Malcolm Clarke has said before Derby County are an historic club – a founder member of the Football League – and part of the fabric of English football whose fans deserve better than this. No club should be allowed to go under because of an owner’s reckless gamble.

The FSA would encourage supporters and fan groups to contact their MP and ask them to back all of the Fan-led Review’s recommendations as it passes though Parliament. Things should never have got this far and the Government must act to prevent this happening again.

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